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  1. I dont see any topics on this new bird here. OK it is not a MiG-29 or the legendary MiG-15 but still it played an important part in history. It was annonced at the very start of this year that Airfix is doing a completely new tool MiG-17F version in 72nd scale. Few CAD images were shown at the time. WIth a month later more images were shared by Airfix including an article on the kits development here: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/early-classic-jet-project-for-young-airfix-designer Unfortunately it did raise some more questions. The MiG-17 was unique in its design. It was an interim aircraft from the very start on the way into supersonic flight of later MiG’s. In fact it was originally only intended as sub-variant of the MiG-15 with official identification “MiG-15 with afterburning engine and new wing”. It changed constantly through its service life from the early non afterburning version with small air brakes, small canopy, ejection seat inherited from MiG-15, all the way to the missile armed MiG-17PFU with longer canopy / periscope / “curtain” type ejection seat and the big air-brakes. BUT One thing remained constant, the actual wing which was very strange in a way. Yes it had a break, with the leading edge angle changing half way at the second wing fence. But also its cross section was different at root and from half way outwards. It was not a nice and elegant constant / continuous change but a very abrupt one. The “new” wing at the base had a much sharper leading edge which had to transition into the very blunt / rounded leading edge of the predecessor MiG-15 outboards. While the top surface of the wing remained the same profile, due to the roundness of the outer wing section it looks like it is much further down. I have to borough here an image from a Walk around published on Prime portal which illustrates this point perfectly. Hope the owner does not mind. Here are more views to show what is in question, first the Airfix LIDAR image In the freshly published Airfix interview with the designer there are some interesting things! They show the original LIDAR image of the scanned real fighter and even on this poor quality image the change in wing cross section is visible. On the final CAD images this “discrepancy” was corrected by the designer to a very nice and rounded cross section all the way, just like on MiG-15. Why??? OK I can accept people saying that the change in cross section is not so visible and what’s all the fuss about? After all it is just a 72 nd scale kit and this will not be visible (for most). There is a contradiction in Airfix’s point of view. If the leading edge cross section question (a very minor one) is not important for this scale then why incorporate in the CAD design the miniscule undercarriage down / up indicators on the wings? Here is a view of the real indicator in my collection, in some countries it was called “soldier” and its diameter is just 10mm which in 72 nd is 0.138 mm!!! OK you can sand it off and make your own, more authentic size representation from something. On the actual aircraft there are 3 such indicators, one for nose gear and two for main gear. Why include only the ones on the wings and forget about the one in front of the windshield? Where is the consistency in design? Most (not all) “afterburning” MiG-17’s already had a periscope on the canopy, which is visible on Airfix LIDAR image. Why did it disappear on CAD and from the kit? If it was added on the plastic part, one could simply sand it off to represent the earlier version with no periscope. But to do the reverse and build a periscope is a bit more problematic (of course not impossible). Same goes for the ejection seat. The one represented on the CAD is the original, simple MiG seat as inherited from the MiG-15, but it was mainly used on the early non afterburning versions. The “Curtain” type development of the basic seat was later a standard on all MiG-17’s. If it was just a difference in some internal systems, the rocket motor or the straps then no one would care. But the difference is in the most visible part of the seat, on its headrest! It is a big chunky box with the “curtains” D ring on front of it, a part which is very much visible on the kit! I fully understand the frustration of Laurent with the nose cone shape of the new Modelsvit Mirage III kit. It is possible that some remember my completely useless endeavour to get the nose shape right for one of Eduard kits. Nothing could convince them and I am not speaking of subjective look at different photos, actual measurements of the real aircrafts for comparison did nothing even though we were still in early stage of development so it would have been possible. The issue with the Mirage nose is a MINOR problem (by manufacture) and very few seem to care about it, far more people see the question of rivets as a unprecedented and unwelcome attack by the manufacture. Here on this MiG-17 the question of the wing cross section change will be just the same MINOR problem, if at all for most and they will barely notice it. Unfortunately the wing root is a far more visible part of the kit and here the designer made it nice, perfect, an aesthetically rounded while on the real aircraft it is a pointed / sharp edge. Of course it is the continuation of the leading edge cross section question, everything is connected with everything! This sharpness is not only on the leading edge but also on the wing to fuselage connection line only getting a little more rounded near the trailing edge. This is clearly visible on Airfix LIDAR scan also! Have a look. The CAD on the other hand shows a continuous rounded wing/fuselage joint line like on MiG-15. But all this is just CAD. I say as always, let’s see the real plastic in hands and make decisions on it then! Based on the amount of details shown by Airfix I would say by now metal is cut in China for this kit and there is absolutely no chance of revision here. Oh well. . . Best regards Gabor P.s. I would love to see more details of the that “. . .FOD screen positioned in the distinctive air intake . . .” mentioned in the Airfix article! Having taken apart few real MiG-17’s there was absolutely no sign of that “FOD screen”. Neither there is any mention of it actual MiG-17 aircraft manuals from the 1950’s! If Airfix (there is no name given to the author of the article) is speaking of the mesh found on VK-1 engines compressors then they should consider (and be aware of the fact) that this engine is actually a straight copy of the Rolls-Royce NeNe engine and all aircraft equipped with it (and there were a lot of types in those years on both sides of the iron curtain) had this interesting “FOD screen positioned in the air intake”. So there is absolutely nothing unique in it for the MiG-17!
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